2018 principal blogs

God's Treasure
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-09-12 14:44:45
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:44–46)

These parables are often used as examples for giving up all you have so that you can get a hold of God and the treasures he has planned for you. However, the passages can also give us a clear example of how God sees us. Instead of viewing ourselves as the man or merchant and God as the treasure, if we turn things upside down and consider that God is the man or merchant and we are the treasure that he gives everything up for, then we see God’s message of grace and love, and how important we are to our Heavenly Father. From that perspective, we are the most important thing to him and the price God paid to have us was the death of his one and only Son, Jesus. When we read the passages with that understanding, we see the gospel for exactly what it is about; God coming to us over and over again at no cost to us.

Our Loving Heavely Father
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-09-5 16:02:07
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

With Father’s Day just passed, it’s timely to reflect on our heavenly Father and his love for us. There are many types of fathers and God is one who continually works in our lives to shape and guide us. He acts out of love and has plans for us to be in a close relationship with him forever. What a blessing it is to know that God made us and loves us eternally! Rejoice in the knowledge that you are and always will be one of his beloved children. 

A Well-Lit Life
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-08-30 12:44:54
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

At home we have one of those touch glass stoves that require you to hit the exact spot in order to operate it. Without going too much into detail about why, I’ve been seeking each morning to turn it on without turning on the kitchen light. It’s pretty futile. I touch all over the place where I think the “On” button is but never seem to find it. Eventually I get out my phone, turn on its screen and then locate the spot on the stovetop. Success! A bit of light shows me the way.

Jesus is referred to as “The Light” for the same reason. He brightens our darkness and shows us the way to eternal life; he brings hope into our darkness and reveals God’s love and plan for us. He shows us The Way. We just need to let his light shine in our lives.


A Helping Hand
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-08-22 15:31:40
If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing well. (James 2:8)
The ongoing drought affecting our farmers is now well within the consciousness of Australians, which is great. Australian farmers plan extensively for tough times but this drought has been exceptionally long and now they need our support. As a nation relying heavily on agriculture, giving that support directly benefits each of us in some way. In Jesus’ new covenant commandment to love others as yourself, this is one of the ways that he was referring to. We need to see the interconnectedness of our world and act in ways that lift up and grow the positive. As we support our farmers this week with Farm Friendly Thursday, I pray that our community will give generously to assist.

The Found Sheep
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-08-14 15:16:56
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”. (Luke 15:3-7)

With the EKKA here, no doubt the thought of farm animals has crossed your mind. And if so then you’ve likely thought about the animal nursery and looking after some of the cute, little lambs. Jesus’ parable of The Lost Sheep uses similar imagery to explain God’s love and how he views anyone that’s away from him as lost. In the parable, the shepherd doesn’t get angry when the sheep strays. Instead he feels compassion for it and ensures it’s found again. He also carries the sheep on his shoulders, showing us that it is God who bears the weight and discomfort of our sins. Upon his return, the shepherd calls his friends and neighbours to rejoice in the sheep being brought back into the fold. It is the same in heaven when every sinner repents and is put back in a right relationship with God. God is the shepherd and we are the sheep. When we stray, may we let God find us again and carry us safely home.

Doing What's Right
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-08-9 07:52:56
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up.  (Galatians 6:9)

Doing what’s right doesn’t just happen. As educators, we know this very well simply because of the sheer number and diversity of people we come across every year. We see other schools when on excursions and camps, we interact with different families and we receive feedback in various forms. In the last few days alone, we have seen a spectrum of behaviours from children in Canberra and I’m pleased to say that our children from Good News have been exceptional. They have sat quietly waiting for students from other schools to finish their meals or go about their tours whilst the teachers either yelled at the children (without much change in behaviour) or simply haven’t noticed what’s going on. The whole time our staff are feeling very blessed by the children we have on camp. The students listen when required, maintain appropriate noise levels, move about in a sensible manner and display the values and expectations that we have. But it doesn’t just happen. It takes education and expectation right from early childhood, with a consistent message about and approach to doing what is right, not just for ourselves but for the bigger picture that includes everyone else. Let us not give up on doing that because the differences are very clear to us and will serve our students well for life.

Living Humbly
    -  2018-08-1 15:09:15
The LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. 
(Micah 6:8)

This verse is God’s response to Israel’s question about what kind of sacrifice will be suitable to pay for their sins. God explains that simply following a set of rituals or rules to square off with our sins isn’t going to cut it. God looks into our hearts see where the motivation comes from. He explains to his people that what they need to focus on is doing what’s right because it’s the right thing to do. He wants them to act from a position of love, mercy and humility. God wants us to consider how we interact with each other in the first place rather than seeking ways to regain his favour after we’ve transgressed. And as we get better with such actions, he wants us to remember not to look down on others who aren’t doing as well. Being humble, rather than boastful, is a recurring concept within the Bible, and Jesus is the best example of how to do that.

God's Word
    -  2018-08-1 15:08:37
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

The Bible has many different types of writing, including songs, poetry, historical accounts and stories. At times its words give comfort and at others it challenges. The Bible can make us reflect, question and reconsider at one moment and then rejoice, celebrate and give thanks at the next. God speaks to us across our different emotions and experiences, and invites us to delve ever deeper into his word as he guides us towards his plan of eternal salvation. May we open our hearts and minds to hear what he wants us to know.

By Faith
    -  2018-08-1 15:07:48
For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I’m fully convinced that my teenage children operate by faith and not by sight. Despite having had things modelled to them all their life, they still don’t seem to notice where things go. For example, instead of putting things in the dishwasher, they just leave it on the bench. They have faith that the items will somehow migrate into the appliance. Or after a round of ranting, they do stack things in the dishwasher but the items just go in randomly in any place, regardless that my wife and I have been packing it the same efficient way forever. They have faith that all the items will still fit nonetheless. And it’s great when they unpack the dishwasher but have they never noticed that the glasses go on the left of the shelf and the mugs on the right? They obviously have faith that when they reach in to get a glass that a mug won’t be pulled out instead. Arrgh.

Obviously the Corinthians verse is about maintaining a belief in God even though we can’t see him directly. It’s about believing that Jesus wasn’t just a man with some interesting things to say but that he really did rise again even though we weren’t there to witness it. More has been written about God and Jesus than most historical figures (that we have no trouble believing things about) but some people struggle to accept that thousands of people saw and experienced Jesus’ miracles and that hundreds of people witnessed him alive again after his very public death on the cross.

But that’s what faith is about. God gives us the choice to decide whether we want to believe in and follow him or whether we wish to take another path. God has no desire to rule over a collection of autonomous beings. He wants a real relationship built on love and trust. At Good News we share God’s message of salvation and outline his plan for each of us. From there it is up to each individual to determine how much they wish to allow the Spirit to work within them. Our prayer is that all who come into contact with our community allow the Holy Spirit to grow inside them and are transformed so that they can walk by faith rather than by sight.

The Alpha and Omega
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-06-22 15:43:31
“I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end”. (Revelation 22:13)

This passage from Revelations highlights the point that God has existed, and will continue to exist, for all of time. In our western culture, we usually picture this statement on a linear timeline, with fixed start and end points. However, at the time it was written – 2000 or so years ago – the people had a much more circular understanding of life. They well understood weather cycles, life cycles and concepts such as reincarnation and rebirth. Therefore, they would have much more readily envisaged a circle for this image of God’s eternity, for circles have the start and finish at the same point. And movement and time on a circle are endless. Today, it’s important for us to remember that the circle image is also centred on Jesus. He is the pivotal point of God’s plan for us and is the means by which all people through all of time are made right with our Heavenly Father. 

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